Benjamin Alire Sáenz

b. 1954
Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Poet, novelist, essayist, and children’s book author, Benjamin Alire Sáenz grew up on a cotton farm in New Mexico speaking only Spanish until he started elementary school. Although his education eventually took him to Denver, Belguim, Iowa, and California, Sáenz settled in the border region between Texas and New Mexico — an area that remains central to his writing.

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"Poetry Out Loud helped me gain confidence in myself. I'm usually quite shy, but memorizing and performing poems and meeting new people along the way has given me confidence that I will always carry with me."
Raina Verser
2017 AL POL Champion